Friday, 14 February 2014

Now that I have graduated

By Paola Velasco Herrejon, MA Gender and Development  2012-2013

I came to IDS looking for an answer to the following question: If 49% of the people of my country are in a situation of poverty and 67% (CONEVAL 2010 2010) are women, what is the situation of women in Mexico which is making them more vulnerable? 

At IDS I didn't find an answer, but multiple responses. 

To begin with, I learned to look at myself first and see the ways in which I am poor and 
dis-empowered. Then, I learned to identify situations in which I am in a position of power, and therefore reinforcing other´s condition of disadvantage. Later in the year, I started to understand that there is no black and white, good and bad, women and men, businesses and governments, but multiple grays, and encouraged myself to learn where those grays come from, why they have acquired that colour, and how their shade its constantly changing. 

Lastly, I understood that I cannot become a poverty fighter, we all have the power to empower ourselves and emancipate. Yet, I have the responsibility of understanding my own power and my pathways of empowerment so I don´t harm others in the way. Therefore, after being at IDS, and now that I have graduated, I choose my life to be an ongoing collective reflection about how not to judge, but listen, of how not to talk, but do. 

I am currently employed as the CSR area coordinator of a 74MW wind farm in Juchitán, México. I am now part of that world which I once despised because of being so unequal, but now I know that I was not only part of the problem, but that it is actually a excessively diverse and complex world which can be seen in various perspectives, and that I can largely decide where I am positioned. 

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